Safe to Remove Older Applications?


Today’s Question: My iMac has recently warned me that the hard drive is running out of space. I’ve realized that in Applications I have older versions of Photoshop and Lightroom that go back to Photoshop CC 14 through the current version. Assuming I don’t delete the most recent copies of these applications, is there any reason why I shouldn’t just uninstall all of the old versions of these applications?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Provided the latest version of an application is working properly, including all plug-ins you want to be able to use with that version, there is generally no reason not to uninstall the older versions of those applications.

More Detail: In most cases there is no need to retain older copies of an application, as long as the latest version of the application is working properly. Each version of Photoshop, for example, can consume two or three gigabytes of hard drive space. That can obviously add up to considerable space when you have multiple versions of several applications installed on your computer.

It is a good idea to make sure any plug-ins you want to use are installed and working properly with the latest version of an application before you remove older versions. In addition, it is worth considering whether you might need to retain older versions of an application to maintain backward compatibility. That generally isn’t an issue for photographers using Photoshop or Lightroom, but if you receive files from others that might require an older version of an application, you would want to take that into account.

In general though, you can most certainly remove older versions of applications once the latest version has been confirmed to be functioning properly. I do recommend, by the way, using the uninstall application to remove older version, if an uninstaller is included with the application. An uninstaller is included with Photoshop and Lightroom, for example.